Flappy Bird was a hard game. My high score was eight, and it took a long time to get even that far. When I saw people get scores in the dozens, or even hundreds, I was in awe. That brutal challenge is part of what made the game so infamously addictive, but the follow-up from creator Dong Nguyen might just be a step too far. So far my high score in Swing Copters is one. And I don't see that changing any time soon.
My high score is one
Both aesthetically and mechanically, Swing Copters is a lot like Flappy Bird. The visuals are low-fi pixel art, and you're once again controlling a tiny dude trying to fly past a never-ending barrage of obstacles. Only this time, the pixelated star is wearing a helicopter hat, and he flies up instead of to the right. The one-touch gameplay has you controlling his direction to ensure he doesn't spin out of control.
It may be similar to Flappy Bird, but there's one key difference: speed. Everything happens so fast in Swing Copters that it can be hard to even come to grips with the controls before you smash headfirst into an obstacle. It's a big change from the plodding pace of Flappy Bird, and it makes the new game significantly harder. It also means I'm less likely to keep coming back; Flappy Bird was devilishly hard, but at least there was a chance I could improve my score. That chance feels dramatically diminished in Swing Copters.
Then again, maybe that's the point. Nguyen infamously pulled Flappy Bird because he felt like it was too addictive, and Swing Copters' tougher challenge will likely eliminate that concern for some. You can find out for yourself now, as the game launched today on both iOS and Android. It's free to download and you can pay $0.99 to remove in-game ads.